Thumb officials look to lessen impact of manure haulers on roads, improve safety

Jack Laurie,Tuscola County Road Commission chairman, is glad officials in Tuscola, Huron and Sanilac counties are teaming up to address problems caused by manure-hauling rigs in the region. (Photo by John Cook)
Jack Laurie,Tuscola County Road Commission chairman, is glad officials in Tuscola, Huron and Sanilac counties are teaming up to address problems caused by manure-hauling rigs in the region. (Photo by John Cook)

Officials in Michigan’s thumb region are looking at ways to address the economic impact and safety threat of manure haulers on rural roads.

More than 70 officials, planners, and farmers from Tuscola, Huron, and Sanilac counties met last week in Sandusky to discuss the issue – specifically, how manure haulers can continue to be used in the region’s rich agricultural industry without destroying its roads or posing a threat to the safety of others.

The meeting was organized by George Lasecki, zoning ordinance officer, in Sanilac County’s Moore Township, in response to concerns with regard to manure tankers “tearing up the roads,” said Tuscola County Road Commission Chairman Jack Laurie. Lasecki could not be reached by press time.

“I was glad we started something – these three counties – to get the ball rolling,” Laurie said. “Everyone – including the dairymen and the haulers – know there’s a problem.”

Officials from neighboring Huron and Sanilac counties told The Advertiser that the meeting was necessary due to the number of manure haulers in the thumb region.

“The meeting was good in a proactive way just to get people talking,” said Neal Hentschl, secretary-manager, Huron County Road Commission. “I cautioned the group, too, that at some point, if you don’t start policing yourself and paying attention to the detail, somebody in Lansing is going to do it for you.” (Read more)

(This story originally appeared in the Nov. 19, 2016 print edition of The Tuscola County Advertiser and can be read in its entirety here.)

 

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